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29 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Copan is solid!
Far too many books on Christian apologetics are tired commentaries with cheesy quotations and sound bite/flimsy arguments. This sort of literature has set a disingenuous precedent with thinkers from all camps (because they are written in Christianeeze!) and has given Christian apologetics a bad name. While encouraging to a choir, they are hopeless as outreach. Copan's,...
Published on July 21, 2008 by Jonathan Deundian

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20 of 24 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Misleading Title
This book contains thoughtful, well-stated, fully expressed apologetics. However, its catchy title and trendy cover is misleading; it implies that the book is a reader-friendly guide to answering tough universal questions about God. In this regard, Copan's book really misses the mark. It is written more for the academic rather than your average Christian caffeine addict,...
Published on March 20, 2009 by Beth Tebe


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29 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Copan is solid!, July 21, 2008
By 
Jonathan Deundian (Northern California) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: When God Goes to Starbucks: A Guide to Everyday Apologetics (Paperback)
Far too many books on Christian apologetics are tired commentaries with cheesy quotations and sound bite/flimsy arguments. This sort of literature has set a disingenuous precedent with thinkers from all camps (because they are written in Christianeeze!) and has given Christian apologetics a bad name. While encouraging to a choir, they are hopeless as outreach. Copan's, "When God Goes to Starbucks" will equip Christians to know why they believe what they believe about their faith, and invites seekers to explore the coherence of the Christian worldview. Anyone who is passionate about the life of the mind will enjoy this book. Copan has written at a lay level but the content is thoughtful enough to meet the needs of advanced learners. Copan covers a lot of territory and deals with some gritty but relevant topics. You'll enjoy this book as Copan *once again* travels roads most fear to travel -Copan is great!
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23 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Vente Apologetics...Vintage Copan, July 23, 2008
This review is from: When God Goes to Starbucks: A Guide to Everyday Apologetics (Paperback)
These are not flimsy, trite, or tired responses to legitimate and difficult questions. What you will find here are thoughtful, clear, and substantive arguments with ample endnotes, precise summaries, and helpful suggestions for more intensive exploration. Copan has the rare ability to take ideas and discussions occurring in professional journals among theologians and philosophers and package them in a way that is accessible to motivated readers without trivializing them.

Moreover, the issues addressed in this book are fresh, but not obscure. For example, Islam is in the news, and many thinking people wonder how closely (if at all) the Jihad of the Koran parallels the holy wars recorded in the Bible (specifically the OT). You get 3 chapters exploring that. Then you get a chapter exploring religious experience and 2 chapters exploring the rationality of miracles in the "age of science". And who hasn't wondered whether it is really OK to lie to Nazis? (and then how to explain your reasoning?)

Overall this is a powerful book. But Copan realizes that it isn't about winning an argument; it is about seeking the truth. And all of this is to be done with gentleness and respect. Personally, I resonated with what he said in the introduction, "And when we are talking with people in pain or when people just want to tell their stories, we should be quick to listen and slow to speak (James 1:19); we shouldn't jump in with answers when we haven't truly understood the questions" (pages 10-11). Too often we get excited about a particular truth we have discovered and in our eagerness to share it, we forget to listen and understand. A good reminder indeed.

I highly recommend this and other Paul Copan books. If you like these kinds of books, two others you may enjoy are:

Welcome to College: A Christ-Follower's Guide for the Journey

The God Conversation: Using Stories and Illustrations to Explain Your Faith
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20 of 24 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Misleading Title, March 20, 2009
By 
Beth Tebe (Glenview, IL) - See all my reviews
This review is from: When God Goes to Starbucks: A Guide to Everyday Apologetics (Paperback)
This book contains thoughtful, well-stated, fully expressed apologetics. However, its catchy title and trendy cover is misleading; it implies that the book is a reader-friendly guide to answering tough universal questions about God. In this regard, Copan's book really misses the mark. It is written more for the academic rather than your average Christian caffeine addict, like myself. So, if you could use some help giving tangible, biblical responses to questions like "If God is good, then why is there so much suffering?" then I recommend Randy Newman's book Questioning Evangelism. After you read it, bring a seeking friend to the nearest Starbucks, and start a "God" conversation over a cup o' Joe.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good Apologetics Primer on Selected Issues, October 8, 2010
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This review is from: When God Goes to Starbucks: A Guide to Everyday Apologetics (Paperback)
This is a good book on Christian apologetics that tackles not the big issues about the core of Christianity but some selected sub-issues. Topics covered include homosexuality and gay marriage, the variety of Christian denominations and the accuracy of Christ's predictions about the end times. Author Copan is clearly a well-read scholar who knows his subjects. He provides one of the most reasonable and non-judgmental explanations of the Christian positions on gay issues. He covers the key points on other area of controversy as well. Now and then he misses the mark: for example, he does not fully understand the Catholic teaching on tradition, which the Catholic Church sees as Sacred Tradition and equally valid as Sacred Scripture. For starters, Sacred Tradition preceded Sacred Scripture, as far as the New Testament is concerned; this is just a fact, since obviously what Jesus taught and how the disciples followed that teaching necessarily came before anyone wrote it down. Interestingly, he uses the Book of Maccabees, which is in the Catholic bible but not the Protestant, to make one of his points. I also think he is wrong on the whole unity issue. The large number of divisions is seen by outsiders as evidence of a fundamental weakness in the Christian message: how could there be so many interpretations of one truth? Copan's explanations are only sugar coating of what is one of the major problems of modern Christianity. Overall, however, I found the book eminently reasonable, fairly balanced, and intelligently nuanced. A good read for all Christians who want to buttress their understanding of current hot topics.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars thoughtful, September 20, 2010
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This review is from: When God Goes to Starbucks: A Guide to Everyday Apologetics (Paperback)
I bought this book on a whim and was deeply touched by the message. GREAT book for those moments when you feel compelled to say something, but aren't quite sure how to approach it. Even better book for those times when your gut tells you "this is right" or "that makes me uncomfortable" - but you can't put your finger on "why". This book not only gives you the scriptural "why" but helps you find gentle ways of approaching those topics with your friends and loved ones. MUST read for any Christian who finds him/herself in mixed company.
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8 of 11 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Have You Lied To Any Nazis Lately?, October 29, 2008
By 
Daniel L. Marler (Oak Lawn, IL, USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: When God Goes to Starbucks: A Guide to Everyday Apologetics (Paperback)
Books which are written to answer "real" questions with practical, real-life wisdom need to grapple honestly, then, with the kind of authentic issues that cause people concern. Paul Copan's, "When God Goes To Starbucks" does that admirably.

What are some of those real questions? Well, for example . . .

"Is it okay to lie to Nazis?"

[By the way, according to Copan, the answer is yes, "deception is morally permissible . . . under certain specific conditions." But you have to read chapter 3 in the book to get the full explanation.]

"Does the Bible condemn loving, committed homosexual relationships?"

"Aren't the Bible's `Holy Wars' just like Islamic Jihad?"

"Why are Christians so divided? Why so many denominations?"

[Copan is a very smart and highly educated man, but, he missed the obvious correct answer to these two questions. It's simple to see that Christians wouldn't be divided if everyone would just come to see things my way.]

Oh well, he did a pretty good job, other than that.

Copan has written several books along the lines of "When God Goes To Starbucks" and he does a good job of writing in a way that is accessible to regular people and, yet, provides thoughtful answers that are not so lightweight that they lack genuine intellectual substance.

From one of those "regular people" . . .

Dan Marler
Oak Lawn, IL
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Reasonable Christian apologetic book, March 24, 2009
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This review is from: When God Goes to Starbucks: A Guide to Everyday Apologetics (Paperback)
I've used this as a Sunday class material to provide as a springboard for discussions and such. The author tried hard to presents issues that are good topical material. Because of the format and nature of the book (an intro level apologetic and not a 400 to 500 college/graduate level ethics and philosophy treatises), it falls short for the depth of discussions that I was aiming for.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good Cup of Joe, August 26, 2008
This review is from: When God Goes to Starbucks: A Guide to Everyday Apologetics (Paperback)
Paul Copan is someone I regard as one of the most useful authors on apologetics today, and he occupies himself quite profitably with books that might be described as "grab bags" of issues and questions. When God Goes to Starbucks is the latest of this set; though thematically tied to the title essentially as questions (posed as "slogans") you may hear in discussion at a coffee house, realistically, the questions are also ones you'll deal with just about anywhere.

Sizable chunks of the book are devoted to matters related to homosexuality, miracles, Biblical wars and "atrocities", and - the end times. (On this last, Copan's answers seem a bit preterist-friendly, but are also friendly to the dispensational view.) The balance is devoted to more philosophical questions like "Is It Okay to Lie to the Nazis?" I recommend it heartily.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Delivers as promised.., August 7, 2008
By 
R. A. Peeling (West Palm Beach, FL USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: When God Goes to Starbucks: A Guide to Everyday Apologetics (Paperback)
Paul Copan delivers on his premise that the questions he tackles in this book are indeed those that are discussed among friends and acquaintances. He gives the Christian reader clear, easy to understand information to common issues confronting society. For the non-Christian, he gives a perspective into Christian thought that is informational rather than judgmental. Plus scripture citations and references to other authors' works for those who need them.
The book is an easy read, though I confess that I rushed through section about 'holy wars' to get to "Was Jesus Mistaken about an Early Second Coming?" The question and answer format allows the reader to jump around the text in manner that suits their particular needs and interests.
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Accessible, Insightful, and Persuasive, September 16, 2008
By 
Jeff Kimble (Scotia, New York) - See all my reviews
This review is from: When God Goes to Starbucks: A Guide to Everyday Apologetics (Paperback)
Covering a variety of questions likely to arise in conversations with irreligious friends and neighbors, Copan's book offers a wealth of help and insight. Written in his characteristically irenic style, Copan takes on another set of slogans frequently posed as objections to Christianity. He offers an accessible critique designed to uncover the unwarranted assumptions behind these slogans and responds to them one at a time. If you want a clear-minded approach to thinking about many of the issues troubling people about Christianity, Copan offers one of the best books of its kind. I've required my class on the History of Christianity to read his chapter entitled "Why so many Denominations?" and they find his remarks helpful and persuasive. It's rare to find a writer who can pack so much content into such bit-sized chapters and keep the prose accessible to the average reader. Copan's books deserve a wide readership and I would encourage those who find this book of interest to read his other books--all equally as insightful and well-written.
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When God Goes to Starbucks: A Guide to Everyday Apologetics
When God Goes to Starbucks: A Guide to Everyday Apologetics by Paul Copan (Paperback - August 1, 2008)
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